The village of Radium Hot Springs can be easily reached in a three-hour drive from the west end of Calgary via Banff and Kootenay National Parks across the border into British Columbia. It’s a distance quite doable for a short weekend jaunt after work on a Friday. For a more relaxed stay, plan for a longer trip over the Family Day long weekend or Spring Break. Once you’ve reached Radium Hot Springs, you’ve officially entered into the sunny Columbia Valley and options for family fun are endless as you travel farther south toward Invermere or Fairmont Hot Springs.
An autumn hike in Alberta’s Rockies can lead you through three different seasons in the course of a day. Weather can be very hard to predict, and as October approaches, the days get shorter. But your family can still enjoy some amazing Fall color hikes with a bit of careful planning and paying extra attention to safety.
I have a fun summer challenge for you this year: Pack up the car, load up the kids and pets, and head out to Kananaskis or Banff for a day trip! But here’s the catch, choose somewhere you’ve never been before; visit a new picnic site, explore a new corner of Kananaskis, or go off the beaten path and choose a new road you’ve never driven. This summer, venture beyond Elbow Falls. I chose the following 10 destinations for their proximity to Calgary (most are within an hour of the city), and because each one offers you more than just a ‘pretty picnic spot.’ Rent a stand-up paddle board or kayak, go for a swim, find a hidden rope swing, or hike a new trail. Each destination has something fun waiting for you!
There is a plethora of things you can do before taking your kids camping to maximize your chances of a successful trip. You can choose a campsite that’s relatively close to home, invite other families (read: other kids to entertain your own kids), and bring a solid supply of junk food, to name a few strategies.
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